日の入りの天狗 Sunset Tengu

June 9, 2009: 温泉タウン戸倉上山田 Onsen Town Togura-Kamiyamada

Tengu in the Sunset

夕べは戸倉駅の上の天狗公園に寄りました。ちょうど日の入りの時だったので、写真家が好きそうな光の中で千曲川や周辺の山がとっても綺麗でした。そして、天狗の像がいつもより感動的でした。
連れて行ったお客さんに「どうして天狗は葉っぱを持っているの?」と聞かれました。恥ずかしい事で、私が勉強不足で知りませんでした。調べたら、天狗はその葉っぱで風をいじれるそうです。なるほど。色々と調べたら、天狗の山伏の関係や、天狗の仏教・神道関係とか、天狗の世界はかなり奥深いので勉強になりました。
鼻の大きさは日・米では違う感想があるそうです。日本の「鼻が高い」=「プライドがあり過ぎ」と違って、欧米では、ピノッキオのように「嘘吐き」のイメージになる。

Last night I took some guests up to the Tengu Park above Togura Station, right at sunset. The soft light of the setting sun created a surreal scene of the Chikuma River and the surrounding mountains -- it was strikingly beautiful. The huge Tengu statue was even more impressive than normal lit up by the setting sun.
One of the guests asked why the Tengu is holding a leaf. I was embarrassed to admit that I didn't know. I did some research when I got back, and found out the Tengu uses the leaf to control the wind. Apparently they can create hurricanes with it.
There's a really good description about Tengu on the Obakemono Project website. I was surprised to learn just how complex the mystical legends are about the Tengu. Besides the supernatural power to control the wind, I was fascinated to learn that the evolution of the Tengu is related to the conflict between Buddhism that was imported from China and Japan's domestic, animistic Shinto religion. There's also an interesting explanation on the background to the pom-pom's on his coat, as well as mention that it was the Tengu that taught the ninjas their art. Now I'll have much more appreciation of our Tengu the next time I see him above Togura Station!



Tengu and his wind-controlling leaf


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